Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : 2 Injured in Forced Copter Landing

A National Guard helicopter that had been on display at the Van Nuys Air Show during the weekend was forced to make an emergency landing Monday during a flight to its base in Stockton, injuring two crewmen.

The chopper landed hard about 11:30 a.m. in a farm field south of Quail Lake Road and west of the Golden State Freeway, said Sgt. John Ashley of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

The pilot of the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter noticed an engine warning light, said a sergeant at National Guard headquarters in Sacramento. “They were going to set it down to see what the problem was when the engine quit,” he said, and the pilot made an emergency landing by “counter-rotating"--using the drag of free-spinning rotor blades to slow its descent and keep it upright.

The two crewmen were treated for spinal injuries at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita. One was released and the other was in good condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.


The helicopter suffered landing gear damage and will have to be disassembled and trucked back to Stockton, the sergeant said.

More coverage of the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys appears today on B14.